BHAG – Regional Currency – ‘In God We Trust’

Go Lean Commentary

Got any money? Got any American coins or notes (US Dollars). Notice the engraving: ‘In God We Trust’. What does it mean?

The capitalized form “IN GOD WE TRUST” first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864[5] and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. The 84th Congress passed legislation (P.L. 84–851), also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase to be the national motto.[6][7][8]

With the separation of “Church and State” mantra, isn’t this intended to imply that God backs this money? As such “In God We Trust” as a national motto and on U.S. currency has been the subject of numerous unsuccessful lawsuits by many individuals.[72] But the legal defense has been validated repeatedly – see how this encyclopedic source details this historicity:

Some groups and people have objected to its use, contending that its religious reference violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.[9] These groups believe the phrase should be removed from currency and public property. In lawsuits, this argument has not overcome the interpretational doctrine of accommodationism, which allows government to endorse religious establishments as long as [one religion is not favored over another].[10] According to a 2003 joint poll by USA Today, CNN, and Gallup, 90% of Americans support the inscription “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.[11]

Don’t get it twisted: American money having a reference to “trusting in God” does not make it divine, or backed by God. There is nothing sacred about American currency, and thusly, it can be replaced or supplanted. This is our dream!

For the 30 member-states of the political Caribbean, there are a number of different currencies that represent our monetary efforts: local currencies (i.e. Jamaican, Caymanian, Bahamian, etc.) AND reserve currencies like US Dollar or the Euro. This is the dream that there would be just one Single Currency, not the US Dollar, to represent all of the Caribbean.

What a dream! In fact, this is considered a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).

This is entry 2-of-6 for the March 2020 version of the monthly series from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. This submission considers the BHAG of the Caribbean Dollar or C$ – yes, we even have a brand name. Our one currency with coins and notes for all monetary exchanges in the Caribbean region.

Yes, we can!

Every month, we submit a Teaching Series on a subject germane to Caribbean life. The full series for this month – under the BHAG theme – is cataloged as follows:

  1. BHAG – The Audacity of Hope – Yes, we can!
  2. BHAG – Regional Currency – ‘In God We Trust’
  3. BHAG – Infrastructure Spending … finally funding Toll Roads
  4. BHAG – One Voice – Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Stance
  5. BHAG – Outreach to the World – Why Not a Profit Center
  6. BHAG – Netflix, Hulu, CBS, Peacock ==> Caribbean Media

The subject of a regional currency is a weighty responsibility, as it underpins the economic engines for the 42 million people in the region. This quest for the Caribbean Dollar, managed by a technocratic Caribbean Central Bank (CCB) was presented in the Go Lean book as a paramount strategy for elevating the societal engines. Next to the confederation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) itself, the establishment of the CCB is presented as the next highest priority.

In fact, the advocacy (Page 127) of 10 Big Ideas listed this detail as the #2 entry:

Currency Union / Single Currency
Apolitical technocratic monetary control, by the Caribbean Central Bank (CCB), and foreign trade with a globally respected currency allows for the methodical growth of the Caribbean economy without the risk of hyper-inflation and/or currency devaluations. The CU/CCB trades in Caribbean Dollars (C$) of which the currency’s reserves are a mixed-basket of strong foreign currencies: US Dollars, Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen.

In addition to traditional monetary benefits – discussed below – there is the need to mitigate upheavals in the international financial markets; we have that reality today, on the heels of the Coronavirus pandemic – a global recession is surely coming.

The points of a BIG Hairy Audacious Goal of a Caribbean Dollar to optimize our economic engines have been addressed in previous Go Lean blog-commentaries; consider this one from December 11, 2018 addressing the need to leverage against upheavals in the international financial markets. See an excerpt here:

The strategy in this Go Lean book is to optimize money issues: consolidate monetary reserves for the region into a Single Currency, the Caribbean Dollar (C$), managed by the technocratic Caribbean Central Bank (CCB). The C$ will be based on a mixed-basket of foreign reserves (US dollars, Euros, British pounds & Yens).

This is a simple but effective plan – a best practice: introduce the Caribbean Central Bank (CCB) and Caribbean Dollar as a Single Currency for the region’s 30 member-states.

Huge benefits abound! And so this economic initiative is important for Caribbean elevation. The rationale is that this strategy “enables economies to be more resilient to exogenous shocks”.

  • exogenous shocks – In economics, a shock is an unexpected or unpredictable event that affects an economy, either positively or negatively. Technically, it refers to an unpredictable change in exogenous factors — that is, factors unexplained by economics — which may influence endogenous economic variables. – Wikipedia.

This benefit is so obvious that others have thought of this before …

Yet there has consistently been a Failure to Launch this economic initiative; or to do so successfully. Consider the historicity of the CariCom Multilateral Clearing Facility (CMCF) in Appendix A [of that previous commentary] – a normal functionality of regional Central Banks.

Currently, the Caribbean has no regional Central Bank, so safety-net, no shock absorption, and no integration. This is the quest of the book Go Lean…Caribbean; it urges the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) and the Caribbean Central Bank (CCB). The book serves as a roadmap for this goal, with turn-by-turn directions to integrate the 30 member-states of the region and forge an $800 Billion economy.

One traditional charter for the monetary responsibilities of a Central Bank is the minting of coins. This charter is now perilous for small units of currency, think the Penny.

One Caribbean member-state, the Bahamas, is embarking on the effort to eliminate the penny from national circulation; see article in the Appendix below and the Appendix VIDEO that relates the American Penny Drama. Yet, this Go Lean roadmap is advocating for a regional currency instead of just a national one. Question: What are our plans for the “Penny”?

Answer: Make it moot!

The Go Lean roadmap calls for doubling-down on electronic money and payments systems. That same previous December 2017 blog-commentary asserted:

Central Banks are required to …

  1. facilitate monetary and currency policies,
  2. oversee bank regulations, and
  3. execute inter-bank financial transactions (like payment settlements …).

(Note: The strategy to including the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Monetary Union is for Electronic Financial Transactions only).

This is how the Go Lean roadmap seeks to transform the Caribbean region, with legitimate, structured and technocratic schemes for electronic money, payments systems, and even crypto-currency. See this declaration here:

The world of electronic payment systems is here! This is a good thing. The benefits of these new schemes are too enticing to ignore: fostering more e-Commerce, increasing regional money supply, mitigating Black Markets, more cruise tourism spending, growing the economy, creating jobs, enhancing security and optimizing governance.

A successful digital money / electronic payment scheme is very important in the strategy for elevating the Caribbean economy, for reforming and transforming. Any “risky” image of technology-backed payments will be nullified with the image of a bleeding-edge technocracy, the CCB, deploying these regimes efficiently and effectively.

This theme of Caribbean monetary and currency solutions have been elaborated in previous Go Lean commentaries; see a sample list here: Crypto-currency: Here comes ‘Trouble’ Leading with Money Matters – New Almighty Caribbean Dollar Failure to Launch: The Quest for a Caribbean ‘Single Currency’ Case Study on Central Banking for Puerto Rico The Future of Money – For the Caribbean and Beyond Bitcoin needs regulatory framework to change ‘risky’ image Barbados Central Bank records $3.7m loss in 2013 Central Banks Can Create Money from ‘Thin Air’ – Here’s How

To recap, there is reform: mitigate upheavals in the international financial markets …

… and there is transform: deploying electronic money regimes.

This is the Way Forward for Caribbean society. This is our Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Let’s get started!

This is how we will make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxv. Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures. These measures must address threats against the financial integrity of the Federation and of the member-states.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Bahamas one cent coin to be discontinued
By: Chester Robards

The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) officially announced yesterday that The Bahamas’ one cent coins as legal currency will be relegated to the annals of history.

Central Bank Governor John Rolle announced during a press conference at the central bank that by the end of 2020, the Bahamian penny will no longer be accepted at the register. By June of 2021, banks will no longer cash in pennies.

This change will have no effect on the overall cost of goods and services, Rolle said.

CBOB made the decision after studying the cost of producing the penny versus its actual value. The bank found that it cost $443,000 to distribute the one cent coin and it could save $7 million over ten years by eliminating the penny.

The Central Bank has already stopped manufacturing the penny. The last time pennies were manufactured was in 2015, Rolle said.

In January CBOB will stop issuing the coin to commercial banks and will begin withdrawing the coin from circulation.

“There are lots of reasons why this process is being embarked upon. The key one is that it is not financially or economically viable to produce the penny,” Rolle said.

“Today we are spending four percent above the face value to produce them. In the past we used to spend 50 percent above the value to get them produced.

“The penny is not widely used in cash transactions and as many as 60 percent that we have produced over the years we estimate are lost permanently.”

Rolle said the central bank will place coin counting machines in high traffic areas where people with pennies can redeem them for a token that can be deposited to their bank accounts.

The bank explained in a previous press release that the removal of the coin will not have an effect on electronic payments, while cash payments will be rounded off to the nearest five cents.

CBOB outlines its rounding rules as such:

  • One and two would be rounded down to zero (e.g. $4.21 becomes $4.20).
  • Three and four would be rounded up to five (e.g. $7.23 becomes $7.25).
  • Six and seven would be rounded down to five (e.g. $15.67 becomes $15.65).
  • Eight and nine would be rounded up to 10 (e.g. $27.89 becomes $27.90).

The bank explained that rounding off should only take place on the total bill and individual item prices should not be adjusted.

Rolle explained yesterday that U.S. pennies will also not be accepted at the register after 2020.

He said CBOB will likely recycle the pennies it recovers from the public.

Rolle said of the 700 million pennies that have been circulated since the start of the Central Bank, half of those can no longer be found.

Source: Posted October 11, 2019; retrieved March 13, 2020 from:


Appendix VIDEO – Pennies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) –

Posted November 23, 2015
– Pennies are not even worth what they’re worth. So why do we still make them?

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